Rudolph Giuliani’s attack on Barack Obama: how far is too far?

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Barack Obama doesn’t love America. Photo: John Minchillo Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Barack Obama doesn’t love America. Photo: John Minchillo
Nanjing Night Net

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Barack Obama doesn’t love America. Photo: John Minchillo

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Barack Obama doesn’t love America. Photo: John Minchillo

Washington: With his attack last week on Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York who won near universal regard for his poise after the attacks on September 11, 2001, has cozied up to the uglier elements of America’s right wing.

But more than that, he has made life harder for his party, which after sweeping victories in last year’s mid-term elections, has been trying to recast itself as a party of government rather than of perpetual opposition.

“He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up, and I was brought up through love of this country,” Giuliani said of the president in an address at a private dinner for business leaders last Wednesday.

Since then he has been given the opportunity to walk his statement back, but decided instead to press home the attack.

By Sunday morning his comments were the focus of America’s political morning TV programs.

Levelling personal abuse at the current president has a rich history in the Republican Party, and like most traditions it has different branches and codes.

Some assailants found it useful to demonstrate the muscularity of their loathing for the president by going out of their way to belittle him in public.

In 2009 the president addressed both houses of Congress to outline his proposed healthcare changes. The Republican congressman Joe Wilson twice bellowed at the president, “You lie!”

In April 2012 the ageing rock singer and NRA board member Ted Nugent said in a speech at an NRA conference, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

In response Republican congressman Steve Stockman invited Nugent to be his guest at the next State of the Union address, demonstrating his patriotism by preening alongside a man who had obliquely threatened to murder his president.

Since then Nugent has called Obama a “subhuman mongrel” in an interview.

The Arizona governor Jan Brewer greeted the President as he alighted from Air Force One during a visit to her state in 2012 by waving her finger in his face (before cameras) and chastising him for his immigration and border control policies.

Later she told Fox News she thought he was very thin-skinned.

But by far the richer vein is that mined by Giuliani, in which one dog-whistles the racist right by questioning the president’s fitness for office by casting doubt on his nationality, patriotism and religion.

It is an attack that works because of Obama’s name, and his skin colour.

This sort of attack began as soon Obama appeared as a viable candidate, but it was codified by the commentator Dinesh D’Souza who sought to legitimise it by dressing it up with half-baked social-psychological theory in his 2010 bestseller, The Roots of Obama’s Rage.

In it he argued that Obama hates America, a hatred he inherited from the Kenyan father he famously barely knew.

“This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realisation of his anti-colonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son,” wrote D’Souza in the article that formed the basis of the book. “The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father’s dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.”

Since the publication of the book D’Souza has given up claims he might have once had to be a serious commentator. He makes his coin by feeding red meat to conservative conspiracy theorists. Last week after Obama appeared on a BuzzFeed video D’Souza tweeted, “YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE GHETTO…Watch this vulgar man show his stuff, while America cowers in embarrassment.” YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE GHETTO…Watch this vulgar man show his stuff, while America cowers in embarrassment pic.twitter南京夜网/C9yLG4QoOK — Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 18, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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